When Can You Recover Damages for a Dog Bite?
Some states make it very difficult for those who have been bitten or attacked by a dog to get justice. They have laws that give dogs and their owners one “free bite” before the dog will be considered dangerous. Victims in these states may have little recourse against the owner of a dog that had not previously attacked anyone.
Oklahoma’s dog bite law is much friendlier to attack victims. In fact, those who have been bitten do not need to prove that the dog was known to be dangerous. There is no need to prove that the dog had attacked before. The law doesn’t even require you to prove that the owner was responsible or negligent.
All that is needed to recover compensation for a dog attack under Oklahoma law is to show that the attack occurred without provocation and that the person who was attacked was on the land lawfully.
Proving that you were on land lawfully is usually relatively simple. If the dog’s owner invited you onto the land explicitly or implicitly, or if you were there for some official purpose, you are protected by the law. If you were on public property or in a public place such as a store, office, mall or amusement park, you are also covered by the law. In most cases, only those who are trespassing on land are exempted from the protections of the statute.
Not only does the law allow you to recover damages for your injuries, it allows for the “full amount of any damages.” This means you may be entitled to medical expenses, lost wages and compensation for your pain and suffering. If you need physical or occupational therapy, the dog’s owner may be liable for the cost. In some cases, compensation is also awarded for mental anguish or trauma.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries as a result of a dog attack, the injury attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can help. Contact us today to arrange your free initial consultation.